Friday, July 25, 2008


Panic sweeps the streets of Philadelphia today- as the Mets completed their fourth series win of this rapidly maturing campaign. And it does feel like bad news. It is hard to argue that the Phillies are better than the Mets today- when Philadelphia both trails New York in the standings and has lost all four series head-to-head this year.

But, well, relax. I’m not saying the Phillies are making the play-offs. Candidly, if the Mets go on from here and win 95 games, Philadelphia can't match that number. But equally honestly, the Phillies are hardly done.

For the last 200 games, the Mets are a .500 team plus one recent eight game winning streak. Heck, since the break, they’re a mere 4-3 facing this "juggernaut" slate: three at home versus the Phillies and four versus a notsogood Reds team.

So how about the Mets play one complete month, post-all-star game, at say something like three over .500- before we quit?

Even the Phillies supposed swoon is probably more a function of their schedule than anything. Back in early June, I wrote that I would be surprised if the Phillies maintained any lead in NL East over, back then, the next forty games. I think that was a good observation.

Since June 10th, Philadelphia has played 37 games- 31 versus winning teams (only losers were Atlanta and Arizona (currently a mere one game under). This period included some brutal good clubs. For example, seemingly every good outfit in the American League.

That is your swoon right there. An 88-win team simply isn’t going to play .500 ball against that slate. But the corollary of that observation is things ought to pick up now that nightmare portion of the schedule is over.

I bet it does. 22 of the Phillies next 28 are against teams w/ losing records: Atlanta, Washington (twice), Pittsburgh, LA (twice), San Diego. The only “winners” are a decent Florida club and a quality St. Louis Cardinal outfit. I bet the Phillies “look” a whole lot better four weeks from now.